Parsha Breish’t 5771: Completion and New Beginnings; The Never-Ending Torah

by Moshe Burt

Somehow, not being rabbinic or a Talmud Chacham, it has always seemed difficult to put a true and deep meaning of Hashem’s creation to words to express the continuim of the end and the beginning of Torah.

In Hashem’s expression of creation; “Breish’t, Bora, Kelokim.” (“In the beginning, Hashem created the heavens and the earth”, (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1) Torah surely wasn’t referring to that parody of Major League Baseball; you know the one, ‘In the big inning.’

In one of his memorable Jewish Times articles: “Goodbye Wall, “Rav Kahane z’l indicates, to those who make the trip to Israel for Succot to, publically and unabashedly celebrate 2 days of of Yom Tov on the 1st and last days and then rush back to Chutz L’Aretz on the red-eye special almost immediately upon the end of the Chutz Simchat Torah, the message could be — You’re a Jew, you belong here, connected to your land; that the truest, purest form of Mitzvot is achieved here in Eretz Yisrael.

It appears as if Hashem, as we comprehend, is saying to the Yom Tov visitors, “The Chaggim have ended and I now bring the onset of the Rainy Season.” If there is a message that we can take from “MaShiv HaRuach U’Morid HaGeshem”, can we understand it to be that the apparent mindset of our Chutznik friends and relatives, “Fantasy is over, back to reality, jobs, bills, responsibilities and so, “Goodbye Wall,” is at best flawed?

And to those Israelis, who passionately crave the “Normal Life” — normal like any other nation == and who are, as Olmert put it on the heels of his and Sharon’s expulsion of their, our fellow Jews, “tired of fighting, tired of winning…” and who are thus confused as to who they are, why there is an Israel and why they are here, this quote of Rashi and his question on R. Yitzchak, as rendered in the Metsudah Chumash/Rashi linear Translation (Rashi on Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1) relating to “Breish’t, Bora, Kelokim” seems more than appropriate;

R. Yitzchak said: The Torah should have begun with [the verse] “This month shall be [your first month],” it being the first precept that the Israelites were commanded. Then why does it [the Torah] begin with “In the beginning”? This is because [of the concept contained in the verse,] “He declared the power of His works to His people in order to give them the inheritance of the nations.” Thus, should the nations of the world say to Israel, “You are robbers, for you have taken by force the lands of the Seven Nations,” they [Israel] will say to them: “All the earth belongs to G’d. He created it and gave it to whomever He saw fit. It was his will to give it [the land] to them and it was His will to take it [Eretz Yisrael] from them and give it to us.”

When we receive Divine Brachot for the year to come in V’zos HaBracha on Simchat Torah, we should/must recognize, that these final verses don’t mark a finish, a completion but rather just a beginning (like the end of one baseball season with the crowning of World Champions followed almost immediately by non-stop preparations for and inception of the new season) for the eternal Torah renews itself eternally in applicability and pertinence with the end of the current cycle and beginning of each new cycle. The joy of completion must extend to the joy of continuance, the joy of new learning and new perspectives which build level upon level of that already learned.

And so we must take the craving for real improvement, the craving to make things right between Jewish brethren and throughout Am Yehudi into the new year.

May we, the B’nai Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard, captive Gilad Shalit and the other MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem. May we have the courage to stand up as one to prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem, Yom Hashem V’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bim hay v’yameinu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.